Kiwi Steven Alker has had a bogey-free round of 6-under 65 to grab a share of the lead in the Portland Open as part of the Korn Ferry Tour at North Plains in Oregon USA.
Alker followed on from his 3-under 68 yesterday and has set himself up nicely on 9-under sharing the lead with American Charlie Saxon.
“I think today was good for me because I just made some nice saves and kept bogeys off the card, that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment, I’ve been having too many bogeys,” Alker explained after the round.
So far this year Alker has had some up and down tournaments where he has played great rounds of golf but not been able to go on with it.
The 49-year-old hasn’t won a tournament since 2014 and said it has been tough since the Korn Ferry Tour resumed following the COVID-19 break.
“I’ve made a bunch of cuts just not really getting it done, just haven’t been there with the game but it’s coming around and just trying to keep the bogeys down and the mistakes down.
“Putting has been pretty solid the last couple of weeks so that’s pleasing.”
Alker has played at the Portland course many times before but can feel the difference this year with no crowds or infrastructure.
“Its a little different, obviously the stands are a big difference, on 18 you hit into several greens and the par 3, 12th over there you don’t see stands and you don’t have targets as well but this is a special place, I love coming here.
“It’s so private and peaceful and it’s kind of one of those places that I could play every day and there’s not too many courses that we could do that. I feel good here.”
Fellow Kiwi in the field Nick Voke, who tied for second place in last weeks Korn Ferry Tour event has missed the cut after finishing with 4-over after the first two rounds.